Uncontested Divorce in Georgia
In Georgia, spouses may consider either a contested divorce or an uncontested one. Each differs significantly.
- A contested divorce is when the two spouses are unable to settle their disputes amicably. Such issues as alimony, child custody, child support, separation of their assets, or/and property division may be difficult to handle without legal advice. Thus, if couples can't solve their issues, the judge may need to intervene, which is expensive since it makes the divorce process longer.
- In an uncontested divorce, couples succeed in settling their divorce issues by outlining a Marital Settlement Agreement, which helps them save their time and money. An uncontested divorce also allows couples to save money by using divorce paperwork preparation services, commonly known as online divorce, namely DivorceOnline. Although they don't provide legal advice, these services may help divorcees save time and money on their divorce papers.
Get Your Divorce Forms Completed Online
Our online service doesn't sell blank forms. Instead, we will help you sort out and complete the divorce forms required for your particular case. You only need to complete a simple questionnaire to provide all the necessary information on your marriage and divorce.
We will also provide you with a filing guide that is easy to follow to help you file for divorce. Unlike costly attorneys, our assistance will cost you just $139. You can use our unique tool to fill out your divorce papers from the comfort of your own home in no more than two business days.
Please, note that our service is only available for those couples eligible for an uncontested divorce. Otherwise, if your case is complicated and has many issues that you cannot settle yourself, you should consider hiring a lawyer or trying mediation services.
DivorceOnline doesn’t provide you with legal advice or represent you in court. However, we are irreplaceable when it comes to divorce papers preparation.
Steps for Filing a Divorce in Georgia
An uncontested divorce process in Georgia requires several consecutive actions.
Under Georgia divorce law, to get a divorce in Georgia, at least one of the spouses must be a resident of the state to fulfill the residency requirement. In addition, the spouse must have resided in the state for no less than six months prior to filing a divorce complaint.
In Georgia, divorcees may proceed with a no-fault or fault-based divorce.
According to Georgia family law, a no-fault divorce is based on irreconcilable differences that cause an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage.
A fault-based divorce in Georgia includes the following grounds:
- Intermarriage by people within the prohibited degrees of kinship
- Mental incapacity
- Force, menace, or fraud in obtaining the marriage
- Pregnancy of the wife by a man other than the husband during the marriage
- The conviction of a crime of moral turpitude that results in a prison sentence of two years or longer
- Habitual intoxication
- Cruel treatment
- Incurable mental illness
- Habitual drug addiction
According to Georgia divorce law, fault in the breakdown of the marriage can significantly affect the divorce process.
A plaintiff (party initiating the case) must file the completed divorce forms with the Circuit Court to initiate a divorce case in Georgia. The plaintiff should keep in mind that filing needs to be done in a county where either of the spouses resides.
Divorce Papers in Georgia
A plaintiff should go on the local county court's website to get the correct information on divorce forms as they may vary.
Georgia divorce forms necessary to initiate dissolution of marriage include:
- Divorce Complaint
- Financial Affidavit
Spouses unable to handle the divorce papers themselves should consider hiring a lawyer, getting assistance online, or doing it themselves. Spouses eligible for an uncontested divorce can use DivorceOnline, a great assistant for preparing completed divorce forms fast and for a reasonable price.
DivorceOnline doesn't provide legal advice; however, it helps divorcing spouses get their Georgia divorce forms prepared
To initiate the dissolution of a marriage, the plaintiff must file the required documents and pay the filing fees.
In Georgia, the filing fee ranges from $200 to $400, depending on the county where the divorce filing is done. Thus, it is crucial to check the government website for the exact filing fee.
According to family law in Georgia, there is a mandatory 30-day waiting period for getting a divorce, even if it is an uncontested divorce case. The average time frame for an uncontested divorce may vary from 45 to 60 days.
The more complicated dissolution of marriage is, the longer the time span is. For example, contested divorce proceedings may take up to several years to finalize a divorce.
In a divorce, the defendant is typically served with copies of all the divorce papers by the plaintiff shortly after the divorce case is filed with the court.
In Georgia, the defendant may be served in several ways. The serving spouse can have a police officer from the Sheriff's Department or a private process server complete the formal service.
Alternatively, the plaintiff's attorney can send the defendant all the documents along with a cover letter and the acknowledgment of service. That's how the defendant accepts the service without the need for a formal one.
In an uncontested divorce, the need to go to court varies depending on the county. In Georgia, in some counties, divorcing spouses proceeding with an uncontested divorce with all the divorce-related issues outlined in a Settlement Agreement may finalize their divorce without going to court.
Once the parties have entered into a full marital dissolution agreement, they can finalize their dissolution of marriage by a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings if couple doesn’t have minor children. Some judges may still consider it necessary to hold the hearing. Other judges may require the spouses to appear in court if minor children are involved.
Getting a Divorce With Children
According to Georgia family law, to grant a divorce to a couple with minor children involved, the court will have to consider the child's needs and best interests.
There are four overall types of a child's custody awarded to divorcing parents: sole or joint legal custody and sole or joint physical custody.
- Physical custody: In Georgia, this type of custody may be determined by the judge or by the parents via a parenting agreement. If a child has reached the age of 14, they have the right to select the parent with whom they wish to reside.
Georgia law allows three basic arrangements for physical custody:
- One parent is granted sole custody;
- One parent is granted primary physical custody while the other one is granted secondary;
- Both parents are awarded joint custody.
Another thing to consider is parenting time (i.e., visitation). Visitation is typically granted to a non-custodial parent and includes a set schedule to pay visits to a child. In Georgia, visitation is rarely denied. It only happens when there is reasonable doubt concerning the child's wellbeing.
The Georgia Child Support Guidelines determine a minimum basis for calculating the amount of child support, based on the parents' combined gross incomes, the number of children, and any special needs or expenses that they may have.
Both parents are expected to provide support until the child turns 18. Yet, in some cases, Georgia courts may order child support to endure as long as the child is enrolled in high school (until the child turns 20).
Filing for Divorce in Georgia Without a Lawyer
Filing for divorce in Georgia may cost about $15,000 or even more. To reduce the divorce cost, you may consider handling divorce without a lawyer. Couples proceeding with an uncontested divorce won’t need to hire a lawyer if they don’t want. Instead, they may choose divorce mediation. A mediated divorce is usually much cheaper than a traditional litigated one and allows the spouses to discuss and resolve common divorce-related issues peacefully.
Thus, once you can settle all divorce-related issues regarding marital property, child custody, child support, alimony, etc.out of court, you may not need legal advice from costly law firms.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Georgia
- A DIY divorce is a go-to option for divorcees willing to save time and money on their marriage dissolution. To proceed with a DIY divorce, a couple should deal with their paperwork themselves and, if necessary, represent themselves in court.
- For those who find it hard to handle the paperwork on their own, DivorceOnline, the online paperwork preparation service, is very helpful. We won't charge you as much as costly divorce attorneys, making DivorceOnline an affordable tool for couples seeking assistance with divorce documentation.
- In a DIY divorce, the vital thing to remember is to understand the legal rights and obligations.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The waiting period in Georgia takes 30 days. However, on average no-fault divorce takes about 45 to 60 days to be finalized, in case of uncontested divorce with a Marital Settlement Agreement outlined.
In fault-based divorces, the timeline varies from six months to a year, depending on the case’s complexity.
The dissolution of marriage in Georgia is not cheap. The average divorce cost is about $14,700 if there are no minors involved. The bar goes up to $23,500 if there are kids in the marriage. These prices imply the use of an attorney's services, which are usually quite expensive.
However, if the spouses decide to proceed with a DIY divorce and deal with divorce documents themselves, they can save a lot on costly lawyers and make their divorce more affordable.
To reduce the overall Georgia divorce cost, spouses should consider a DIY divorce. Handling the divorce process without law firms can be more affordable.
Online divorce paperwork preparation services are also an option. They assist the divorcees in preparing all the required documents fast and for a fair price. For example, DivorceOnline charges couples just $139 and helps them get their documents in two business days. In addition, spouses eligible for an uncontested divorce also get clear filing instructions.
Waiving filing fees is another option to save money. The couple should complete an Affidavit of Indigence and submit it to the court.
The basic forms required to initiate a divorce process in Georgia include the Divorce Complaint, Verification, Summons, and Financial Affidavit. The other forms may vary depending on a divorce case and attendant circumstances.
Online divorce paperwork preparation services may become a helpful tool for handling all the forms necessary for filing.